Chennai Super Kings
Will Chennai Super Kings continue their unbeaten run at home? (AFP Photo)

A cursory glance at the points table and you would feel that both Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders are on equal footing with just the net-run rate drawing a wedge between them. To an extent they are. But take a closer look and the differences are quite visible.

While KKR look a deadly combo of youth and old, CSK have continued to put their faith on veterans who against all odds deliveries them a third title last season. In terms of strength, the common thread between the two sides is their spinners. If KKR boast of Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla, CSK have Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja. Their meeting in Match 23 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) could very well turn out to be a battle of spinners with the Chennai pitch favouring the slow bowlers from day one.

Both teams are coming on the back of satisfying victories. While CSK got the better of Kings XI Punjab, KKR crushed Rajasthan Royals on Sunday night. With MS Dhoni time and again proving his tactical mastery, it will be quite a contest as he plans to negate the threat of a red-hot KKR batting line-up, powered a of Andre Russell who is having a dream start to the season.

What: Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Match 23

When: April 9, 2019

Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Time: 8:00pm (IST)

Weather: Sunny with a high of 35 degrees Celsius

Teams

CSK

Having lost to Mumbai Indians, they bounced back at home against KXIP with their spinners calling the shots on a slow Chennai wicket. Harbhajan has been in terrific form, his first over against KXIP was a double-wicket maiden. Tahir is their leading wicket-taker while Jadeja has been admirable as well. All three have an excellent economy in the sub-six region. Faf du Plessis, replacing injured Dwayne Bravo has also hit the ground running with a half-century in his first game of IPL 2019. Pacer Deepak Chahar did struggle in the death-overs before receiving an earful from Dhoni that seem to have worked. No need to tinker with the combination.

KKR

For KKR, they had a worry in pacer Lockie Ferguson proving ineffective and expensive. They seem to have found a good option in Harry Gurney who took 2/25 in four overs on debut against RR. They might not want to experiment now when they are facing a team of the like of CSK.

Head-to-Head

Played: 21

CSK won: 12

KKR won: 8

No result: 1

Quotes

“Only 5 to 6 matches have been played and we need to keep improving in all aspects.” – MS Dhoni

“It was a pretty clinical effort, the bowlers bowled well and the batsmen backed it up well too. We need to improve in a few situations, but that’s always the case.” – Dinesh Karthik